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The most serene republicans

I'm a newer citzen of Forest and wish for you to have a happy 10 year old region! “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday, happy birthday to you!”

The Tumbling Waves of Sunrise from the Sea

Region Founded 10 February 2005 ... It is good to have such a long association with Forest, and wish you well. Our region was 16 years old last month.

Post self-deleted by S mova derat.

The Lacking of HumanSanity

S mova derat wrote:Hi from the XKI! So, you may not know it yet, but there's this really good guy out there and his name is Owlograd. He's just an outstanding member of our community, and he has inspired many people, but he now has pancreatic cancer.
So, just... thought I might show this around. We're trying to support him.

page=UN_view_proposal/id=tinhampton_1615309256

I apologize to P115 on behalf of XKI for this misuse of shared RMB posting between our regions to advertise on the RMB of friendly regions. I have spoken privately with S Mova Derat to ensure this problem does not replicate itself.

Hoping everyone is having a good day here :)

S mova derat

HumanSanity wrote:I apologize to Texas on behalf of XKI for this misuse of shared RMB posting between our regions to advertise on the RMB of friendly regions. I have spoken privately with S Mova Derat to ensure this problem does not replicate itself.

Hoping everyone is having a good day here :)

Yes. I'm sorry to everyone. I had momentarily forgotten, and I will make sure that this does not happen again. I apologize if my mistake has done any damage to anyone here.

The Swirling Shining Splendor of Red Star of the West

Thank you HumanSanity and S mova derat. No worries.

Sunrise from the Sea, The rose, S mova derat, and Dusty Sandals

The Swirling Shining Splendor of Red Star of the West

The rose So you are telling me that artic languages don't have more than 50 different words for snow? What's a person to believe in anymore?

The rose and Dusty Sandals

The rose

Red Star of the West wrote:The rose So you are telling me that artic languages don't have more than 50 different words for snow? What's a person to believe in anymore?

I remember being fascinated by the Greenlandic expressions for snow and ice woven into the novel Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg.

It seems to be a complicated matter, without any clear answer?

The hypothesis appears to be not about the absolute number of words, but whether there's a disproportionate number of such words, compared to other languagues. There's the complication that Eskimo-Aleut languages are polysynthetic, they habitually glue words together all the time. What counts as 1 word? What counts as 1 word root? Results appear to differ depending on how people count and what definitions they use. Another approach is functional rather than merely counting: 'In other words, English speakers living in Alaska, for example, have no trouble describing as many different kinds of snow as Inuit speakers.'
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eskimo_words_for_snow

On the other hand, according to that little summary it looks like there is a richness of vocabulary:

'Other specialists in the matter of Eskimoan languages and Eskimoan knowledge of snow and especially sea ice argue against this notion and defend Boas's original fieldwork amongst the Inuit of Baffin Island'

'Studies of the Sami languages of Norway, Sweden and Finland, conclude that the languages have anywhere from 180 snow- and ice-related words and as many as 300 different words for types of snow, tracks in snow, and conditions of the use of snow.'

Telgan wrote:I wonder what type of arguments or relationaloties or logic really brings us into a conversation more than others? What is the most persuasive?

Maybe we can gather a few examples with this little collection of common misconceptions - fairly innocuous ones, none of which are probably thoughts that people cling to with great passion. One hypothesis could be that when changing one's mind, direct persuasion by another person is not a strong factor. So, I'd be interested in more examples how people remember changing their mind on something-or-other.

The Swirling Shining Splendor of Red Star of the West

Thanks for the explanation The rose

Simple explanations are easier to digest, but they rarely do justice to the rich complexities of our world.

The rose

The State of Telgan

I think that is a wonderful challenge, Rose. I shall think of a few in the coming days on when and how my thinking changed and why. More times than now to what I recall, it always came with lots of reading and lots of reflection. But happy to detail more of this soon. Need to get my thinking cap on! I hope others take up the challenge :). Be VERY interested in reading them. :)

Sunrise from the Sea and The rose

The Ruins of Lat Duhran

How do I invite a friend who just joined nation states?

The rose

Invite to participate in conversations here? Embassy posting is enabled. Philosophy 115 at present has 63 embassies. 21 of our embassy regions have a regional password that protects them against being griefed. It's indicated by the lock symbol above Today's World Census Report. You can advise your friend to look carefully at the 42 remaining regions, to figure out which ones might be attractive. If two or more of the 42 regions attract them, no problem, after all, they can create more than one nation.

Kingdom of Cambria I like the golden seahorse symbol in your new dispatch.

The Utopian Commonwealth of Discoveria

Sunrise from the Sea wrote:Getting fed up with NationStates is one thing, but is anyone in touch with Sam so we can see if he is ok?

Someone asked me after Dr George CTE'd, if there is some way to contact him. I am not sure if he would want to be contacted about this, and will for now err on the side of caution and leave him alone. It has been a while since I last messaged him and I'm not sure if he would want to hear from me.
I have no reason to think that anything bad has happened to him in real life, though. I note that he no longer has a profile on Facebook.
Dr George, if you're reading this, hope you're doing well and will return to P115 soon.

The Tumbling Waves of Sunrise from the Sea

Discoveria wrote:Someone asked me after Dr George CTE'd, if there is some way to contact him. I am not sure if he would want to be contacted about this, and will for now err on the side of caution and leave him alone. It has been a while since I last messaged him and I'm not sure if he would want to hear from me.
I have no reason to think that anything bad has happened to him in real life, though. I note that he no longer has a profile on Facebook.
Dr George, if you're reading this, hope you're doing well and will return to P115 soon.

Thanks. Your suggestion that he is probably all right is reassuring.

I founded a region a long time ago. It has occurred to me that I must give someone else the password to the founding nation, just in case. It’s not just my region. Others have been there for 13 and 14 years.

The Organic Commonwealth of Uan aa Boa

The rose wrote:One hypothesis could be that when changing one's mind, direct persuasion by another person is not a strong factor.

I think this is probably the case, and I'd suggest that we sometimes over-emphasise the importance of rational argument because we like to think of humans as the rational animal and the Enlightenment as fundamental to our culture.

Looking at debates that take place, there are debating competitions where the skills of persuasion are highly prized but also divorced from truth or belief - participants are assigned the position they have to attack or defend. Debates spring up between people of different political or religious views, but people get involved because they have strong views that are unlikely to be changed. When I used to be involved in a new atheist forum I was came across material by William Lane Craig, a philosophically trained Christian apologist who promoted a revived version of the cosmological argument for the existence of God and a slightly odd "Bayesian" argument for the literal truth of the Gospels. Yet speaking to other Christians he gave a standard testimony of finding faith through personal spiritual experience and a sense of being loved. I wondered why he felt the need to spend so much time on these philosophical arguments when he himself hadn't been persuaded by them. Is anyone brought to religious belief by philosophical argument?

The classic arguments for the existence of God are medieval in origin, so you'd be forgiven for wondering, in an age when open non-belief could get you burned at the stake, who Anselm, Aquinas and the others thought they were debating with. I think the answer is that they were debating with themselves. They took to heart the love of reason in the Greek texts they curated, but they were dedicated to a religion known through revelation. It helped them out considerably to demonstrate that accepting that revelation was the rational thing to do. In the process they left Christianity a thoroughly Greek enterprise. The scholastic god who is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, and who may or may not be able to create a boulder too heavy for himself to lift, is far more like Plato's Form of the Good than the Hebrew sky god who rested after 6 days' work, smote his enemies and went out before his people as a pillar of flame.

Could it be that many modern debaters are likewise really seeking to add respectability to what they already believe?

The Swirling Shining Splendor of Red Star of the West

Uan aa Boa wrote:Could it be that many modern debaters are likewise really seeking to add respectability to what they already believe?

Absolutely. Reading the The Data Detective by Tim Hartford now and he gives one of the best accounts of why this is the case that I have come across. Even in arguments where one side of the argument clearly has better evidence than the other, the more educated, intelligent, or "rational" you are doesn't necessarily correlate with you being on the side with the better evidence.

The Utopian Commonwealth of Discoveria

Uan aa Boa wrote:Is anyone brought to religious belief by philosophical argument?

Could it be that many modern debaters are likewise really seeking to add respectability to what they already believe?

Forgive me for jumping in suddenly on this topic.
I would like to think that my (non-)religious views are based on philosophical argument although it may just be a comforting thing to tell myself.
For me the key thing was the lack of agreement by philosophers/theologians that there is any knockout, foolproof proof of the existence of God. At that point it becomes a probabilistic thing. Before I got to that point the philosophical arguments did matter a lot to me.
There’s an objection sometimes raised around God not wanting to make his existence totally certain so that some act of faith is still required, like some sort of loyalty test. But that kind of argument always seemed a bit arbitrary to me. Who wants to be in a club like that?

The Swirling Shining Splendor of Red Star of the West

I haven't encountered a philosophical argument that has convinced me to adopt a religion's beliefs. Particularly those religions based on an all-knowing, all-powerful god who takes an active but invisible role in each of our lives. Believing a religion like that is about faith. Once you have taken the leap of faith, you can attempt to justify this with logic, but you probably aren't going to convince anyone who isn't willing to take that same leap.

Even Voltaire's argument doesn't seem a very good one to me. To paraphrase poorly, the odds that god exists may not be high, but even so the benefits or worshipping god far outweigh the benefits of not worshipping god, because if god doesn't exist you haven't lost much, but if god does exist and you haven't worshipped god, you've lost everything. That logic isn't bad, but it assumes there is one god to worship or not worship, and there are other issues with it too.

The Organic Commonwealth of Uan aa Boa

Discoveria wrote:I would like to think that my (non-)religious views are based on philosophical argument although it may just be a comforting thing to tell myself. For me the key thing was the lack of agreement by philosophers/theologians that there is any knockout, foolproof proof of the existence of God. At that point it becomes a probabilistic thing. Before I got to that point the philosophical arguments did matter a lot to me.

I'm not sure that deciding not to commit to a religion is the same kind of thing as making that commitment. I'm suggesting that people don't join a religion because they've been philosophically persuaded, you're saying that you haven't joined a religion because you haven't be philosophically persuaded. We're not in disagreement.

Discoveria wrote:There’s an objection sometimes raised around God not wanting to make his existence totally certain so that some act of faith is still required, like some sort of loyalty test. But that kind of argument always seemed a bit arbitrary to me. Who wants to be in a club like that?

If compelling evidence of the truth of religious claims was suddenly discovered, do you really think that people who say that would continue to claim evidence was unimportant?

Red Star of the West wrote:Even Voltaire's argument doesn't seem a very good one to me. To paraphrase poorly, the odds that god exists may not be high, but even so the benefits or worshipping god far outweigh the benefits of not worshipping god, because if god doesn't exist you haven't lost much, but if god does exist and you haven't worshipped god, you've lost everything. That logic isn't bad, but it assumes there is one god to worship or not worship, and there are other issues with it too.

Wasn't that Pascal? Either way, what I understand of Christian teaching suggests that it would be impossible to adequately worship God while thinking that he probably doesn't exist, precisely because of the kind of leap of faith you described. It might have worked in Ancient Greece - Plato floats the idea that the gods will favour the unrighteous since their greed and lack of scruples will leave them richer and hence able to afford better sacrifices - but not in Christianity or Islam.

The Swirling Shining Splendor of Red Star of the West

Indeed, I think it was Pascal.

The rose and Uan aa Boa

The rose

The current one is pretty much a nonsense poll. I just couldn't resist when I saw the fallacies Dinosaur Comic. Vote for your favourite recursion.

page=poll/p=171479

The Commonwealth of Central Kadigan

April 8th will mark my 8th anniversary on NationStates. Cake and ice cream for all!!

The Tumbling Waves of Sunrise from the Sea

Central Kadigan wrote:April 8th will mark my 8th anniversary on NationStates. Cake and ice cream for all!!

Congratulations. I look forward to the cake and ice cream.

The Swirling Shining Splendor of Red Star of the West

Central Kadigan wrote:April 8th will mark my 8th anniversary on NationStates. Cake and ice cream for all!!

Congrats!

The rose

I'll have some of the cardamom cake and rose ice cream, please. Congrats, Central Kadigan!

Red Star of the West wrote:I haven't encountered a philosophical argument that has convinced me to adopt a religion's beliefs. Particularly those religions based on an all-knowing, all-powerful god who takes an active but invisible role in each of our lives. Believing a religion like that is about faith. Once you have taken the leap of faith, you can attempt to justify this with logic, but you probably aren't going to convince anyone who isn't willing to take that same leap.

It would be a great improvement if we lived in a world where weighing arguments and considering whether they are convincing were the default approach.

In the experiences of many people, questions about religions aren't even framed as philosophical open questions, which an individual is free to weigh according to their merits. There's a lot of pressure coming both from inside some belief systems, as well as from social factors. Freedom of religion as a human right, which includes the right to being free from any religion, as well as the right to choose and practice a religion one has no prior experience with, is interfered with by all sorts of advantages and drawbacks.

Personally, in the matter of religions, I don't even consider the question of people being convinced of/believing this or that to be the most important. Okay, a person believes/doesn't believe X... And then what? What do we do? How do we live? How do we feel? Are we happy? How do we interact with others? Do we make others afraid and hurt them, or do we lessen fear and pain? Do we lie to ourselves and others in our everyday interactions, or can we tell the truth? Do we burden our lives or do we free them? Will we be sad, remorseful, afraid, or content and light of heart, once our life is over and we die?

How do you remember changing your mind about something-or-other?
Next chapter: I used to believe... nature edition.
page=poll/p=172096

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